Ambassador Mikhail Babich was given a free hand to bring Alyaksandr Lukashenka to heel, well-known Russian journalist Sergei Dorenko said in an interview with RTVi.
According to him, the incumbent Russian envoy and Putin’s special representative has become Lukashenka’s first political rival since 1994. Babich is able to outmatch the Belarusian president, Dorenko believes.
“If you told me to make a bet, I would gamble 2 to 1 on Babich against Lukashenka,” he stressed.
In his opinion, Lukashenka is a very cunning and dodgy person. Dorenko describes the Belarusian leader as an ‘incredible political animal’ who has been blackmailing the whole world, including the EU, Russia and China, for many years.
“I really admire his versalitity that apparently makes for his intelligence. His foxery is so great that he does not need to be intelligent,” Dorenko added.
In March, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry was outspokenly critical of Mikhail Babich’s interview to the RIA Novosti news agency, in which the diplomat took the liberty to slam Belarus for ‘creating the enemy image’ as part of an election technology aimed at ‘mobilizing voters’. At the same time, according to him, Russia is ready to be a guarantor of the sovereignty of Belarus.
Anatol Glaz, Spokesman for the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recommended Ambassador Babich to study our country’s history. According to him, the Russian diplomat failed to see the difference between a federal district and an independent state.
Mikhail Babich, 49, is from Ryazan, he served in the Airborne Forces and the KGB, then in the FSB. From 1995 to 1998 he was the head of the corporation Antey in Moscow, which develops and manufactures weapons for the air defense forces. From November 2002 to February 2003, he headed the government of the Chechen Republic.
While working for Rosmyasomoltorg state-run company and as vice-governor of Ivanovo region, he was involved in a financial fraud scandal. According to Russian media, in 2001 the General Prosecutor’s Office even authorized the arrest, but all things came right for him in the end. Analysts describe Babich as an energetic, tough-talk and and decisive person, who has the presidential confidence as well as good friends in the secret services.
After the dismissal of Mikhail Zurabov from the post of Russia’s Ambassador in Kyiv in July 2016, the Babich’s appointment was considered. However, the Ukrainian side opposed it. Among the reasons was the fact that in 2014 Babich supported the annexation of Crimea. Then the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that ‘the question was removed from the agenda at the initiative of the Ukrainian side’.
Babich, who is connected with the Soviet KGB and the Russian FSB, could become the ‘ambassador of war’, that he is a ‘professional saboteur’ and a ‘classic candidate for the Kremlin to work with separatists in Donbas to organize force operations’, Ukrainian experts believe. According to some Russian media outlets, this appointment is indicative of Moscow’s holding a course for the takeover of Belarus.